- Expected May 30, 2023
A LibraryReads Pick!
From the breakout SFF superstar author of Murderbot comes a remarkable story of power and friendship, of trust and betrayal, and of the families we choose.
"I didn't know you were a... demon."
"You idiot. I'm the demon."
Kai's having a long day in Martha Wells' WITCH KING....
After being murdered, his consciousness dormant and unaware of the passing of time while confined in an elaborate water trap, Kai wakes to find a lesser mage attempting to harness Kai’s magic to his own advantage. That was never going to go well.
But why was Kai imprisoned in the first place? What has changed in the world since his assassination? And why does the Rising World Coalition appear to be growing in influence?
Kai will need to pull his allies close and draw on all his pain magic if he is to answer even the least of these questions.
He’s not going to like the answers.
WITCH KING is Martha Wells’s first new fantasy in over a decade, drawing together her signature ability to create characters we adore and identify with, alongside breathtaking action and adventure, and the wit and charm we’ve come to expect from one of the leading writers of her generation.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Hugo, Nebula, and Locus award winner Wells takes a break from her sci-fi Murderbot series to delve into a complex secondary world fantasy exploring the past and present of Kaiisteron the Witch King, a demon in human form. The past story line follows Kai's first possession of a human body and his relationship with Prince Bashasa, who orchestrates a coup against the autocratic Hierarchs to avenge his sister's death. The present begins with Kai abruptly waking to find his consciousness separated from his body—which is now a corpse entombed in a watery prison—and setting out to investigate his own murder. Among those helping him are Ziede Daiyahah, a witch searching for her missing wife; Sanja, a street urchin; and Ramad, a vanguarder and historian. The enormous cast is difficult to keep track of and the dry, workmanlike prose that works so well when Wells is writing robots can make it difficult to feel particularly close to any of these living characters. Laudably, however, Wells treats sexuality and gender (demons can move between male and female bodies) with a refreshing matter-of-factness and depicts the cultures of this world with an anthropologist's care. Fans will not be disappointed by Wells's return to fantasy.